The future of the UNF Counseling Center

Courtney Green, News Editor

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Big changes are coming to the UNF Counseling Center in the wake of Dr. Andy King’s decision to step down from his position as UNF Counseling Center Director. 

Student mental health is one of UNF President David Szymanski’s top priorities. Interim Associate Provost Dr. Moon also makes it a priority, citing statistics of 70 to 75 percent of all students in college struggle with mental health issues in one way or another. For a lot of students, this is the first time in their lives that they might be experiencing a mental health issue. For this reason, the University wants to create an environment that fosters mental health among students.

According to Dr. Moon, the University is eager to find a permanent Director of the UNF Counseling Center as quickly as possible. The search, however, is in the drafting phase as Student Affairs leadership and Human Resources figure out what the process will look like. The search is not anticipated to cost very much outside of travel expenses for finalists for the position since the University will not be using an outside firm to locate potential matches.

In the meantime, the Counseling Center will be run by someone who has past experience running it in the interim, and that’s Dr. Mike Malec. Moving forward and in the midst of the search for a permanent Director, the Counseling Center is exploring new opportunities and initiatives. One of these opportunities is a strengthened relationship with the Brooks College of Health. 

“We want the permanent director to be somebody who knows that’s our goal, that’s our vision, and sees the opportunities that this alignment will provide,” Dr. Moon said. “We want to make sure the permanent direction is somebody who can really take full advantage of that partnership.”

“Aligning the Counseling Center within the College of Health will take full advantage of the complementary strengths of the Center and the College, and enabled us to provide more innovative and efficient mental health services to our students,” Dr. Moon wrote in an email to leadership at UNF dated July 25.

The partnership between the Counseling Center and the Brooks College of Health will be taking place while the search for a new director is ongoing, but other future initiatives are on hold until a permanent UNF Counseling Center Director is chosen. 

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